The Growth of American Thought

By Merle Curti | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III The Christian Heritage

The Old Spirit of New England hath been sensibly going out of the world, as the old saints in whom it hath gone; and instead the return of the spirit of the world with a lamentable neglect of strict piety has crept in upon the rising generation.

-- COTTON MATHER, 1702

I was not only taught patience, but also made thankful to God who thus led me about and instructed me, that I might have a quick and lively feeling of the Afflictions of my fellow-Creatures, whose Situation in life is difficult.

-- JOHN WOOLMAN, 1774

The Christian tradition, introduced by the first comers, reinforced by nearly all their European successors, and perpetuated by conscious effort, was the chief foundation stone of American intellectual development. No intellectual interest served so effectively as Christian thought to bring some degree of unity to the different classes, regions, and ethnic groups. Whatever differences in ways of life and whatever conflicts of interest separated the country gentry and great merchants from the frontiersmen, poor farmers, artisans, and small shopkeepers, all nominally subscribed to Christian tenets and at least in theory accepted Christianity as their guide. However much French Huguenots, Dutch and German Calvinists, German and Swedish Lutherans, German and Swiss Baptists differed in creed and culture from one another and from the English-speaking Calvinists, Quakers, Anglicans, Baptists, and Catholics, all adhered to a core of common beliefs and values. However widely all these social and ethnic groups differed in doctrine and form of worship, they all, with certain notable exceptions, shared a common Christian conception of human nature, of social relationships, and of the nature of knowledge and beauty; and all were substantially agreed on the supernatural origin and destiny of man and the supernatural basis of the universe itself.

There were, to be sure, minorities which did not share fully in the

-50-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Growth of American Thought
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 912

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.